Monday, January 21, 2013

Literary Birds

What the Raven Saw's official release date is just over a week away and the book will most likely be going into bookstores this week. It will be so wonderful to see my cranky Raven out there, and to celebrate I thought I would shine a light on some of my favourite avian characters from literature. The raven likes to know he is in good company, after all.

1. The Raven, narrator of Marcus Sedgwick's The Raven Mysteries series. I read a couple of these after I had written What the Raven Saw, because I was interested to see another fictitious raven in action. I guess ravens are rather cranky by nature, because this one, too, is a ball of sly, sarcastic and outraged fun. Maybe they are cousins?

2. Tawny Owl in The Animals of Farthing Wood. Pompous and snobby, but also fiercely loyal. I enjoyed the characterisation in the television series, too (the show was pretty much the highlight of my television week, when I was a kid).

3. Kehaar in Watership Down. Great character, who is memorable far beyond just being the only bird in a tribe full of rabbits. I love his loyalty to Bigwig, his crankiness, his scorn, his idiosyncratic and funny way of speaking, but also his courage and loyalty to the rabbits.

4. The Raven in Peter S. Beagle's A Fine and Private Place. There must be something in the air in raven land, because this one too is a bundle of one-liners and sarcasm. He is a bit of a fan favourite, and adds some much-needed humour to this lovely, wistful and sad book. I remember laughing out loud reading some of his lines.

5. The White Pigeon in upcoming The Last Wild by Piers Torday. This book isn't out yet (I have a proof), but the silly white pigeon is a delight, and was quick to become my favourite.

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